A remake of the 1981 horror flick (of the same title), “My Bloody Valentine” applies the 3-D format and other contemporary technical values to a formulaic tale, replete of thematic and visual clichés, which recalls slasher movies of the 1980s.
Despite it title, Lionsgate is releasing the film in mid-January, without much publicity or press screenings, as an exploitation item made for young, indiscriminating fans of the genre, knowing that such fare is audience-driven and no matter how mediocre (or bad) it is, always makes quick coin in wide playout.
Directed by Patrick Lussier (who's also credited as editor) from a screenplay by Todd Farmer and Zane Smith, “My Bloody Valentine 3D” is based on a scenario by John Beaird, story by Stephen Miller, and is produced by Jack Murray. To his credit, Lussier knows his métier, having been the editor of “Scream,” “Dracula 2000,” and “New Nightmare,” and a long-time collaborator with horror maestro Wes Craven. And while his film delivers the basic goods, the mixture of old-fashioned storytelling (including the central love triangle, which is not convincing) and state-of-the-art technology is not always successful.
We quickly find out that ten years ago, a tragedy transformed radically the town of Harmony. Tom Hanniger, an inexperienced coal miner, caused an accident in the tunnels, which trapped and killed five men. The only survivor, Harry Warden, who went into a permanent coma, wanted revenge. One year later, on Valentine's Day, Harry woke up and brutally murdered 22 people with a pickaxe before being killed himself.
Cut to the present to the return of Tom to Harmony. Not surprisingly, he had decided to come back on Valentine's Day. Still haunted by the deaths he had caused, he struggles to make amends with his past. There are other complications: Tom still bears unresolved feelings for his former girlfriend Sarah, who is now married to his best friend, Axel, who's the town sheriff.
Dramatic events occur late one night, when a mysterious man, wearing a miner's mask and armed with a pickaxe, becomes a killer is on the loose. Tom, Sarah and Axel fear that it might be Harry Warden.
“My Bloody Valentine” is essentially an exploitation B-flick, slightly elevated by the modern technology and the pro members of the cast, most of whom act in earnest and manage to avoid camp as well as irony. As expected, the violence is gory, and there's also nudity in one, overly long scene even by standards of the genre.
Jensen Ackles, of TV's “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” plays Tom Hanniger, Jaime King of “The Spirit,” “Sin City,” and “Sin City 2,” is cast as Sarah, and Kerr Smith of “Final Destination” and TV's “Dawson's Creek,” is Axel Palmer. Fans of the genre will get a kick out of the casting of Tom Atkins, who's best remembered from such classics as “The Fog” and “Creepshow,” in a secondary part.
In 1981, the slasher film was at its peak, driven by the box office success of “Halloween,” “The Last House on the Left,” and others. Canada was represented with the controversial low-budget sleeper “My Bloody Valentine,” whose following surprised its creators.
Tom Hanniger – Jensen Ackles
Sarah Palmer – Jaime King
Axel Palmer – Kerr Smith
Irene – Betsy Rue
Deputy Martin – Edi Gathegi
Burke – Tom Atkins
Ben Foley – Kevin Tighe
Megan – Megan Boone
Deputy Ferris – Karen Baum
Harry Warden – Rich Walters
Lionsgate release of Lionsgate production. Produced by Jack Murray. Executive producers, John Dunning, Andre Link, Michael Paseornek, John Sacchi. Directed by Patrick Lussier. Screenplay, Todd Farmer, Zane Smith, based on a screenplay by John Beaird from a story by Stephen Miller. Camera (Technicolor, 3-D), Brian Pearson; editor, Lussier, Cynthia Ludwig; music, Michael Wandmacher; production designer, Zack Grobler; art director, Andrew E.W. Murdock; set decorators, Maurin L. Scarlata, Dianna L. Stoughton; costume designer, LeeAnn Radeka; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS), James M. Emswiller; special make-up effects, Gary J. Tunnicliffe; A-Camera/MK-VAR operator, Howard J. Smith; 3-D stereographer, Max Penner; stunt coordinator, Melissa Stubbs; associate producer, Hernany Perla; assistant director, Thomas McAuley Burke; casting, Nancy Nayor Battino.
MPAA Rating: R.
Running time: 100 Minutes.